The first Tesla Model 3 car will roll off the production line this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter. Elon also announced that the first 30 customers of Model 3 will receive their new cars on July 28 at a handover party.
While the company is scaling up its Model 3 production, according to Tesla's official website, if you book a car now, you will get the delivery only by mid-2018 or later.
The Model 3 has been available for pre-order, with a refundable $1,000 deposit, since April 2016. More than a quarter million pre-orders were placed in the first weekend itself. The company, however, has not confirmed how many people have paid Tesla $1,000 refundable deposits for the car so far. Musk also said in his tweet that he was expecting that the production would reach to 20,000 cars per month by December.
The company aims to increase the production to 10,000 cars per week by 2018, the Washington Post reported.The Model 3 has been projected as Tesla’s entry into the mass-market. The mid-sized family car is to start at around $35,000,which is less than half the cost of Model S.
Model 3 is the third model in the current Tesla range. The vehicle is the first that Tesla will be producing in such high volume. In 2015, Tesla produced only 84,000 cars in total. Companies like General Motors produced more than 10 million cars.
The announcement has come as a big relief to the company and customers as the delivery of Tesla’s second car Model X, was delayed by almost 18 months. That car, a hybrid SUV, was over-complicated by a plethora of customisation options, as well as unique gull-wing doors and custom-build chairs for the front seats.
The Model 3, however, can only be customisable by wheel type and color. “We’ve kept the initial configurations of the Model 3 very simple. A big mistake we made with the X, which is primarily my responsibility — there was way too much complexity right at the beginning. That was very foolish,” Musk said at a shareholder meeting in June, the Guardian reported.
Until recently, Tesla owned the market for fully-electric vehicles that can go 200 miles or more on a single charge. However, GM beat Tesla to the mass market with the Chevrolet Bolt, a $36,000 car that goes 238 miles per charge.
Audi also plans to introduce an electric SUV with 300 miles (486 kilometers) range next year; Ford will have one by 2020. Volkswagen plans more than 30 electric vehicle models by 2025.
Automotive competitors like Mercedes and Volvo can also match Tesla’s efforts to develop self-driving vehicles. And they have deeper pockets. Tesla has had only two profitable quarters in its seven years as a public company, Associated Press reported.